ISLAMABAD: Former captain Zaheer Abbas sees Pakistan not favorites for the 2015 World Cup but believes the green-shirts chances of winning the mega event cannot be written-off as when it comes to major tournaments the national team has always performed with all its might.
The 2015 WC will be staged in Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee is expected to announce the final squad on January 6.
However the ICC has set deadline for final team squad announcement on January 7.
Talking to APP, Zaheer said the selectors have taken enough time to finalize the squad for the extravaganza which is good.
“Taking good decisions need time and I hope the selectors would come up with a very well-balanced squad at the end,” he said. Speaking about the bowling strength of the green-shirts in the 2015 WC, Zaheer said he has high hopes from the tall-pacer Muhammad
Irfan and feels with this tall height Irfan has an edge in bowling on the pitches at Australia and New Zealand.
“I feel Irfan will fill the gap of Saeed Ajmal and he should be played in all the matches of the mega event,” he said adding Irfan needs to be fully physically fit as he is an asset for the WC.
However, Zaheer said Ajmal’s absence would be widely felt in the WC as is one of the greatest bowlers Pakistan has got. “But nothing can be done as his bowling action is not right according to the ICC rules,” he said.
Talking about Shahid Afridi, Zaheer said we cannot fully depend on the all-rounder for the mega event. “Afridi has performed tremendously well in the UAE but he has yet to perform on the pitches in Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
Zaheer said Muhammad Hafeez also deserves a place in the 2015 WC squad as he is the best opener Pakistan has got for the mega event. “Hafeez is an out-class opener and one cannot discard him from the WC squad,” he said.